57 – Dr Ted Naiman: The Most Effective Diet for Fat Loss, Daily Workouts to Failure and The Problems with Supplements

Ted Naiman - HFLC before and after
Ted Naiman – before-and-after (High Carb-Low Fat to High Fat- Low Carb)

Ted Naiman (@tednaiman) is the founder of BurnFatNotSugar.com, Ted is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who has devoted much of his time to the study of diet and exercise and their relationship to health. He has used his diet and exercise techniques to treat thousands of patients and has seen miraculous health transformations and amazing weight loss.

Shortly after we concluded our podcast, Ted recorded this very impressive body-weight workout: Watch it here.

I really, really, really enjoyed this conversation and learned a lot! If only Ted was my doctor :-(. Please note that my audio, whilst very audible, is not quite up to my usual standard. This was due to my ATR2100 mic accidentally breaking during my trip from the UK to Ireland. Mental note: pack microphones in protective packaging. But fear not! My replacement mic has arrived for all future episodes!

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Ted Naiman
Ted’s gainz

In this episode we cover:

  • Ted’s journey from vegetarian steady-state runner to meat-eating strength athlete
  • Ted’s thoughts on Potatoes, Rice and Legumes – do they have a place in a HFLC diet?
  • The most effective diets for fat loss
  • Why some people struggle to lose fat on a HFLC diet
  • Ted’s thoughts on HIT/Resistance Training frequency
  • Ted’s diet and workout regimen
  • And much, much more

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For my FREE eBook with 20 podcast transcripts – Click here

Show Notes

  • Ted’s background and when he had his epiphany on diet [5:00]
  • What drove Ted to start burnfatnotsugar.com [13:25]
  • If a vegetarian eats plenty of eggs, avocados and nuts, is such a diet still inferior to a carnivorous HFLC diet? [14:15]
  • Should legumes be avoided? [16:18]
  • Ted’s thoughts on Mat Lalonde’s Nutritional Density research in relation to Tubers being healthy (nutritionally dense) [17:35]
  • Is it possible to reverse the damage caused by an unhealthy diet and lifestyle? [22:50]
  • Ted’s thoughts on the criticisms he’s received regarding his “Hangry” diagram [24:20]
  • Ted’s thoughts on the dangers of eating too much fat on a HFLC diet [29:20]
  • When might it be ideal to eat low-fat and low-carb? [33:05]
  • What rate of fat loss does Ted see when people start a low-carb, low-fat, moderate-high protein diet? [33:35]
  • Are exogenous ketones worthwhile? [35:15]
  • Is there a cognitive benefit from ketone consumption [38:19]
  • Ted’s thoughts on restricting protein consumption to reduce cancer risks [39:10]
  • Reasons for challenges for some trying to lose fat on HFLC [42:35]
  • Ted’s thoughts on HFLC compliance among his patients [43:55]
  • Ted’s diet in detail [44:50]
  • Ted’s thoughts on eating junk food and how he reduces the negative impact [45:56]
  • Why is Ted, for the most part, anti-supplements? [47:20]
  • Potential supplement exceptions – Vitamin D [48:40]
  • What is Ted’s perspective on vaccination for babies [50:38]
  • Does nicotine consumption have any negative affect on strength and muscle hypertrophy gains following resistance training? [52:52]
  • What is the most effective way to wean people off cigarettes? [54:10]
  • Ted’s thoughts on the notion that some people seem to respond favourably to high volume training and the possible mechanisms involved [54:58]
  • Ted’s thoughts on workout frequency for people with more fast twitch muscle fiber [58:20]
  • Ted’s thoughts on how most of us might just be training much too infrequently and how the concept of overtraining may be exaggerated [1:00:00]
  • More of Ted’s thoughts on volume vs frequency: comparing your typical “Bro” to a HIT trainee [1:01:54]
  • What markers can we track to identify over training? [1:05:20]
  • Ted’s exercise history and how he got into HIT [1:06:20]
  • Ted’s thoughts on training for better health vs vanity [1:09:40]
  • Ted’s thoughts on tracking calories and/or macronutrients for improving health and/or muscle hypertrophy [1:10:35]
  • Ted’s thoughts on nutrition in relation to maximising muscular hypertrophy [1:11:40]
  • Ted’s current workout regimen [1:14:30]
  • Does Ted agree that training to failure is the most important variable when trying to stimulating maximum muscle gains? [1:16:00]
  • Ted’s progression workout [1:18:05]
  • How to progress to a one-armed chin-up [1:19:35]
  • Ted’s current training frequency [1:21:15]
  • Why doesn’t Ted track time-under-load or repetitions? [1:22:45]
  • The value in fasting before and after a workout [1:24:55]
  • Ted’s thoughts on “sitting is the new smoking” [1:26:35]
  • Ted’s thoughts on the quantified-self movement [1:28:00]
  • Where does Ted source his health and fitness information? [1:30:50]
  • The problems with the study: Energy expenditure and body composition changes after an isocaloric ketogenic diet in overweight and obese men [1:32:40]
  • What is it that Ted believes to be true but can’t prove? [1:38:40]
  • What books has Ted gifted the most? [1:40:55]
  • What life change or behavioural modification is Ted most proud of in the last year/recent memory, and which habits is he trying to change? [1:41:25]
  • Best investments of time, energy or money Ted has ever made [1:45:15]
  • What has Ted changed his mind about in health and fitness in the last year? [1:46:55]
  • Ted’s final piece of advice [1:51:20]

Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

What is your current workout regimen? Let me know in the comments below.

Comments 16

  • Thanks again for the great podcast. I’d love for you to interview Chris Masterjohn, PhD. He’s my favorite diet expert and he’s very well versed in the relevant biochemistry (I love Stephen Guynet too). Great podcasts and YouTube videos (the non “dumbed down” info Dr. Naiman talks about). Check out his podcast “Insulin Resistance Isn’t All About Carbs and Insulin” for a preview.

  • Great podcast, I’ve listened to it twice! I loved his ideas on bodyweight training to failure. I’m curious on the cadance he uses, bbs 10s cadance for single limb bodyweight exercises is so hard – seems almost impossible, for me at least! His workout video is no longer available on YouTube unfortunately.

    • Thanks!

      So here are my thoughts on cadence.

      The first 75% of a set I don’t even care about cadence, I just do whatever feels natural and the cadence is pure intuition, just focusing on the QUALITY of the movement and keeping it super controlled. This part of the exercise isn’t producing anything anyway except pre-exhaust.

      THEN near the end of the set, things change. You get weaker and weaker and the subjective effort goes higher and higher and then guess what YOU WILL BE MOVING VERY SLOWLY because it is hard as hell!!! This is where the real magic happens, and you do NOT have to worry about cadence at all because even if you try to move as fast as you can, IT WILL BE VERY SLOW! By the time you hit failure, you will be slowed down to a crawl.

      With every single set, I like to do what I call Triple Failure™ ☻.

      1. Do controlled reps until the concentric gets so hard that your cadence naturally slows WAY down and eventually you literally can’t move in the concentric direction. This is CONCENTRIC FAILURE. Note that by the time you hit this, your rep speed WILL be very slow, naturally and organically, you don’t even remotely have to worry about it! Who cares what your rep speed was the first 75% of this set, as long as you had very well controlled high-quality movement.

      2. Now that you hit concentric failure, I do an isometric hold for as long as possible until the weight literally starts going backwards against my will — this is ISOMETRIC FAILURE.

      3. Finally, for me, I try to lower the weight as slowly as possible until it just goes down on its own against my will, and this is the final ECCENTRIC FAILURE.

      If I do this Triple Failure™ (concentric, isometric, eccentric) and I feel like I really communicated to the working muscles that they SUCK and need to be much much stronger, then I am done and I move on to the next exercise. But if I feel like I wussed out and didn’t really give it 110% percent then I will do a rest-pause failure extension, where I rest for about 10 seconds and then lift to triple failure again (which does not take very long at that point). Frequently for this rest-pause extension I will make it easier somehow, either dropping weight on a machine or going to an easier bodyweight leverage (changing from diamond pushups to regular pushups for example).

      Wow ok long answer for short question but in summary I don’t think you have to worry about cadence at all because it will naturally get very slow when it counts, and prior to that it doesn’t really matter! ☻

      • Love it Ted. Haven’t heard of this technique before and it makes sense. Just to clarify, when you reach concentric failure, you perform an isometric hold at which ever point you might be in the range of motion?

        • Yes! Just wherever I happen to be. I don’t even have to think about it.

          • Thanks Ted, I really didn’t expect such a comprehensive answer but totally appreciate it. I really geek out on this stuff and it’s so hard to know what failure is but this makes total sense now. Loving the triple failure. I’ve a feeling I’ve been wussing out on most of my failure attempts! Time to man up!! Thanks again Ted.

  • Great podcast, I’ve listened to it twice! I loved his ideas on bodyweight training to failure. I’m curious on the cadance he uses, bbs 10s cadance for single limb bodyweight exercises is so hard – seems almost impossible, for me at least! His workout video is no longer available on YouTube unfortunately.

    • Cheers Steven! Ted was great to talk to and one to watch. I’ll ask Ted to respond. Not sure why his video is no longer available – will check. I don’t think he does 10/10 on single joint stuff. He doesn’t count cadence, but moves slowly with good form. Bear in mind, it takes a while to acquire the skill to perform those exercises well and there is a progression.

    • Thanks Steven ????????. He doesn’t do 10/10 or count cadence. He moved slowly and with good form. Not sure what has happened to video. Also bear in mind, there is a progression. Takes a while for most people to progress from multi joint to single in a body weight workout. Will ask Ted re video.

  • Great thanks Ted it works fine for me here. Must be a problem at my end. Great vid btw.

  • In regards to increasing training frequency to 3-4 HIT bodyweight sessions per week are there instances when you would train on back to back days doing a full body HIT session each time? And if so provided in yourself you felt recovered and capable are there any perceived down sides to doing so? Or would if be more advisable to have at least one day between sessions?

    Many thanks for your time


    • Sure, I actually aim for single set full-body training DAILY (but skip it guilt-free if it is logistically inconvenient and/or I’m not feeling awesome). As long as the volume is low, a single set to failure daily is not going to be a problem for a lot of people. Please don’t be afraid to do a single set daily! YOU CAN DO A SINGLE SET FULL BODY TRAINING TO FAILURE DAILY AND YOU WILL SURVIVE ☺︎ try it, nothing bad will happen to you!

      In fact, most of my sets are actually a DOUBLE SET to failure:

      • I do a harder variation with low reps to failure (like one-arm chin, one-arm pushup, or heavy weight).

      • brief rest-pause.…

      • then immediate drop set with easier variation or half the weight — (like going from one-arm chin to normal two arm pull-up, or one-arm push-up to two arms) — this is a higher rep set, again to failure.

      I like this double set because it hits both rep ranges, low and then high, and you get both the maximum tension of a very heavy weight when the muscle is stronger, followed by additional metabolic stress when the muscle is weaker.

      Definitely don’t be afraid of higher frequency as long as the volume is low. INTENSITY is my favorite lever to pull, then FREQUENCY second, and VOLUME is last for me (YMMV). ☺︎

  • […] Ted Naiman (Listen to my episodes with Ted here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part […]

  • […] Ted Naiman (Listen to my episodes with Ted here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part […]

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